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What if Relationship Means More than Resources?

The story of how a single mom sees her son thrive despite challenges


The Akins Family

Dominick, 4th Grade

In the words of Deanna Akins

To send my son Dominick to Providence has been a long time dream of mine. I first loved this place when we would attend the Wendy Fereday swim school next door. I loved the look of the school: it was clean and it looked like a home. That’s what sparked my interest. I would see all the kids in circles talking and playing and they just appeared to be united and sweet, not divided.

When Dominick turned three we were faced with serious health issues. We have since gotten them sorted out but for awhile life was full of doctors, therapists, hospitals, and many medical questions. There were lots of unknowns and it seemed that public schools would have the best resources for him. But we wanted to come to Providence because of the class sizes. Dominick is so sweet and doesn’t have a “mean tick” in him—even to defend himself. I felt he would have been devoured in a public school.

We also needed Dominick to have the necessary attention and opportunities to prove he can succeed when in the right environment. I felt he would quickly fall through the cracks in a public school. Being a single mama my vision has always been for my child to stay joyful and confident and not to miss out on life’s opportunities due to circumstances or money. I never thought in a million years I would be able to fulfill my dream of giving my son a private school education.

When we began in kindergarten it was a struggle, because of the fast pace and Dominick’s many absences for health issues. But because of the awesome team here, we all poured into Dominick and he’s thrived. Each year our teachers have met with us to discuss his unique situation and needs. I can’t imagine anywhere else that does what the staff here does on a regular basis nor with the level of love with which they do it!

Dominick and I love Providence for the backbone of love and individual attention they give us. With the amazing support and teamwork from the teachers and staff I’m thrilled to share that Dominick has straight As so far this year. He works hard to achieve good grades and was proud to see his latest report. He has excelled every year, loves school, loves his friends here, and has loved every teacher along the way. He couldn’t wait for school to start in August.

I have seen Providence nurture and sustain my son’s joy, his innocence, and his curiosity for life. Dominick chose to be baptized earlier this year. That is a vision I didn’t even know I had but Providence gave to us! I, too, got baptized a little over a year ago and that is a miracle in itself. Without the daily connections and acts of God we see here at Providence, who knows what would have become of us?

I believe this school and community has influenced a lot of our growth and commitment. Now we hope to be part of the Providence ripple of love and kindness out into Santa Barbara and the world. In the end, the prayers on our behalf are more than we could have asked for anywhere else. Thank you, Providence, for lifting us up and covering us in prayer.

Providence is Protection